The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 was passed by the Senate in August of 2021. The House of Representatives passed the bill on November 5, 2021, paving the road for President Biden to sign it into law. This new “infrastructure bill” includes significant investment in the safety and encouragement of walking and bicycling. The passing of this historic bill provides increased funding levels and prioritizes communities and neighborhoods that have become vulnerable due to past policy and funding decisions, supporting transportation equity across the state and country.
The new infrastructure bill re-commits the Safe Routes to School program into current law and expands programming to include high schools. Federal Surface Transportation and Highway Safety Improvement Program funds can be used for Safe Routes to School projects in addition to Transportation Alternatives Program funds. The new infrastructure bill creates two new programs encouraging safe walking and bicycling:
- Reconnecting Communities Program to prioritize Black and other communities of color, particularly where construction of highways impacted the safety of bicyclist and pedestrians.
- Safe Streets and Roads for All to fund Vision Zero and Toward Zero initiatives, including both developing and implementing programs.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 is a positive step toward increasing funding and safety for people walking, bicycling, and rolling to school, parks, stores and wherever people of all ages and abilities want to go. Federal guidance regarding the new funding rules and regulations and more information about new programs and program changes will follow in 2022.
Click here for more information on what the infrastructure bill will deliver for New Jersey.